Plessy v Ferguson, Brown v Board of Education, and Michelle Obama

By: Saturday May 17, 2014 9:00 am

What a difference 60 years makes. Roughly speaking, that’s two generations, the span between grandparents and grandchildren, between one way of looking at the world and another. 120 years ago, Justice Harlan looked into the future, and he knew that one day, Plessy v Ferguson would look like Dred Scott.

Today, after I listened to Michelle Obama speak in Topeka, it’s plain she knows the future as well. It made me look at my kid and his classmates, and wonder what their world will be like 60 years — two generations — from now. From what I’ve already seen in him and his friends, I’ve got a feeling that the “better future” of which Michelle Obama spoke is not just wishful thinking.

 

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back in Kansas Over Abortion

By: Saturday April 6, 2013 1:30 pm

Just two days after the opening of the South Wind Women’s Center, a medical clinic in George Tiller’s former office space that was set up to handle the full range of women’s reproductive health needs (including abortion), the state legislature of Brownbackistan approved a sweeping anti-abortion, anti-women, anti-science bill. Once Brownback signs the bill — and he WILL sign it — doctors will be forced to present women with medically inaccurate information. Tax laws were changed to make abortions more financially onerous, and the rightwing Theocons of the legislature have enshrined fetal personhood into state law with a “life begins at conception” provision.

And before you folks outside of Brownbackistan simply laugh at the goings-on in Topeka, ponder this: Sam Brownback IS going to run for president in 2016, and he’ll have both fiscal and social conservatives solidly behind him for what he’s been able to push through the state legislature. Today he’s in Topeka, but make no mistake: he wants to live in that nice little white house in DC.

Wall Street Notices Main Street; Stocks Fall

By: Saturday July 17, 2010 9:07 am

The disconnect between the Masters of the Universe, whether on Wall Street or at the Fed, could not have been clearer in this last week. When you compare the mindset of Wall Street and the Fed with the economic conditions that local city managers are seeing, people notice that city services are being squeezed and jobs are being lost. In places like Topeka, the city budget for next year envisions lower revenue, which is hardly a sign of economic recovery. When the monthly consumer sentiment survey showed people are losing confidence in the economy, Wall Street was shocked. Maybe they ought to get out a little more, and talk to some city managers.

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